Temple Freshmen Maneuver Starting College in Pandemic

“It doesn’t feel like we’re in college because it’s like, we never got a real conclusion to our high school experience” said freshman business management major Dayja Burton.

Temple Update spoke with a few prospective students in the Class of 2024 who were just finishing up their senior year of high-school in April of 2020. Graduation plans were uncertain and the world was largely stuck at home due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

“I graduated on my couch basically” said freshman social work major Tyffani Rudolph. Others explain that their graduations happened online or over multiple days in-person.

“I kind of compare it to a summer camp in a way because we were only here for a couple of weeks and we made some friends” said freshman media studies and production major, Christian Angelini.

Three weeks in to classes, nearly all of them shifted to be online.

“I was supposed to have 3 hybrid classes, but I literally went to one class in-person” said freshman international business major Alexandra Schnoor.

Not being in a classroom and not being able to go to large events during welcome week like TempleFest, has made it difficult to make new friends. The city health department recommends that students avoid all social gatherings to help minimize the spread of the virus. Schnoor and Burton say making friends with neighbors is one of the easiest and safer ways to get to know new people.

Being left on-campus mostly alone is why some students are choosing to move out of university housing.

“I feel like staying here I would just be lonely” said freshman marketing major Emily Alderman.

“A lot of people are leaving that we know, so it’s like why would you spend all this money on housing to basically live in an apartment and do all of your classes from your room?” Angelini said.

Other students still want to stay around campus to enjoy their new-found freedom.

“A lot of people just don’t want to go home, including myself. We just want to stay in Philly” Schnoor said.

They’re also hopeful that the spring semester will be in-person.

“I’m hoping enough people leave and things just kinda chill out, and that I can stay until November; and we’ll see what happens for the spring semester” Burton said.

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